If I could pick one theme from this season of the Hectic Podcast so far, it would be this: <tweet-link>Knowing yourself is the first and most important part of finding your path in life.<tweet-link>
For so many of our guests, in this season and others, their current pursuits, passions, and projects have transformed since the start of their careers. And, though we separate who you are and what you do at Hectic, I think your career path is where many journeys begin.
Most of us have been thinking about work for a long time. From elementary-school questions about what we want to be when we grow up (and I LOVED the answer that this week’s guest, Melanie June, gave as a kid) to deciding what life will hold after high school, our futures were defined by the job title we sought.
As so many of our guests have shown, however, young people typically don’t know enough about the world and themselves to make the best choice. Even worse, there isn’t a lot of grace or permission for those who want to change direction later. Fear, shame, and feelings of inadequacy keep us trapped in the choices we made.
If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, you’ve already broken many of these chains. You’ve forged a new path.
But it wasn’t easy.
Some people, such as Pandaemonium founder Alice Armitage, experienced a traumatic loss that reminded them that the life they were living wasn’t the one they wanted. Others, as Melanie shared in this week’s episode, needed a not-quite-mid-life crisis to accept that they wanted something different.
Or, if you’re like me, freelancing was just another career path. It wasn’t until you had moments of doubt, made mistakes, or found someone who was doing it better that you started to understand that you could shape work into something you wanted.
That said, “what you want” can be a fickle beast. It doesn’t always make sense, particularly to other people. Often, it’s not the actual work or path that you want, but the benefits and opportunities it offers. You may not love dealing with people’s disorganization during tax season, for example, but it may be worth it if this work allows you to take several months off during the rest of the year.
The more you know about yourself, your priorities, and what drives you, the easier it is to understand what you want out of life. Some of the ways you can dig into this understanding include:
Finally, once you can grasp what you want from life and how best to pursue it, don’t forget that you can always adjust your course or change your mind. People are always changing and growing, so it’s only natural that your path will evolve with you. As long as you stay in tune with yourself and give yourself the grace to try, fail, and try again, you can keep pursuing the life you’re longing for.
Get the full story here to meet special effects makeup artist Melanie June, learn how she found her best life at the age of 29, and get a fascinating peek into her world.